I had a wonderful student teaching experience back in the day. I had an awesome CT, and my university supervisor turned out to be better than expected. I got some great constructive feedback. For the most part, I knew when a lesson didn’t go well. What I didn’t know (and still don’t always know) is where exactly the lesson went wrong or what I could change. When we sat down to discuss it, my CT didn’t spend a lot of time telling me what I did wrong. In fact, she rarely ever did. Luckily, I didn’t have too many really off lessons, and when I did, she saw that I knew it. She let me lead and then would help me think of a few realistic ways I could fix what I needed to be fixed. She was also really awesome at telling me what I was excelling at. I left my student teaching experience feeling confident and (realistically 😉 ) ready to take over my own class.
I have yet to feel that same confidence. If I do hear anything back from any observations, it’s something that I did wrong. And this will sound really defensive, but usually, it’ll be that I should have done X or Y. And… I have usually done X or Y, it just happened about five minutes after the observer left. So, it’s not really feedback I can use…
Well, today a colleague stopped by my room. I have a lot of kids she taught a few years ago so she wanted to stay a minute and just watch them. I started a mini-lesson with them, and I have to say these kids usually leave me feeling frazzled. They are very high energy and all over the place, so they typically take a lot of energy from me!
After school, she stopped by to tell me how impressed she was with what she saw. She enjoyed the depth of the discussion, and how I didn’t stop the kids when I didn’t get the “correct” answer. I let them explain their thinking, and she kind of changed her mind to agree with them.
This moment has really helped give me even more motivation to listen to what I’m saying to others more. I’m trying to point out the really awesome things I see and hear my kids doing, and I need to make sure to continue to do that AND do the same for the adults I work with.
It is crazy what a few nice words can do for your day!